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Just as we were getting comfortable interacting with family and friends in two dimensions, Google this week announced a trio of ways to give old memories a new life.
Over the next month, Google Photos users will begin to see Memories (collections of saved images and videos) come alive with 3D imaging, updated collage designs, and fresh themes.
Using a bit of machine learning magic, the platform can figure out a picture’s depth and produce a 3D representation, which gets animated with a smooth panning effect that makes you want to reach out and touch the scene. “Cinematic photos help you relive your memories in a way that feels more vivid and realistic,” product manager Jamie Aspinall wrote in a blog post. “So you feel like you’re transported back to that moment.”
The updated app automatically creates Cinematic photos; look for them in “Recent highlights” at the top of your photo grid. Share the 3D effect with loved ones or your entire social network feed by exporting each individual image as a video.
Why post just one photo when you can present an entire collage? Earlier this month, Google began rolling out what it calls “richer, artistically designed” layouts, which use artificial intelligence to create a cohesive look. The AI can choose the right arrangement and use similar colors to accent details like the font and background.
Since its launch in September 2019, Memories has encouraged users to revisit moments from the past one, two, three, four, five, etc. years. Now, Google Photos is adding another layer—themes—to help surface images of the most important people in your life.
“[This is] something I’m especially thankful for in a year where I won’t be seeing as many of my nearest and dearest in person,” Aspinall said, teasing upcoming Memories of your favorite things and activities based on uploaded pictures.
Not everything is worth remembering, though, which is why users also have the ability to hide specific people or time periods, ensuring they don’t pop up in Memories.
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